Skip to main content

The pope wants you to put your phone away at dinner

missiobot pope francis
Philip Chidell / Shutterstock.com
Your parents have told you not to bring your phone to the dinner table a thousand times, and now, the pope himself is joining in on the debate. Despite his reputation as one of the most forward-thinking members of the church to date, Pope Francis I still holds one thing quite sacred: family dinner. Last week at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, the pontiff addressed the issue saying, “Sadly the family meal, this great symbol of togetherness, is disappearing in some societies.” And chief to blame? That damn phone.

“A family that almost never eats together, or that never speaks at the table but looks at the television or the smartphone, is hardly a family,” Francis continued. “When children at the table are attached to the computer or the phone and don’t listen to each other, this is not a family, this is a pensioner!” Strong words from a man who recently created his own Twitter account. But then again, you probably don’t see Pope Francis tweeting at dinner.

“Sitting at table for the family dinner, sharing our meal and the experiences of our day, is a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity,” he insisted. You know what’s also a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity? That Instagram pic of your family dinner (that can’t happen anymore because the leader of the Roman Catholic Church wants you to put away your iPhone right now).

Noting that a communal dinner time is a key moment for solidarity and healing, Francis noted, “In the family, if something is wrong, or if there’s some hidden wound, at the table you see it right away.” But if your face is buried in your phone, that may not be the case.

So sure, maybe you won’t be able to live tweet your dad’s horrible jokes, or photo-document your siblings’ matching outfits. But you’ll make the pope happy, and that’s what’s important, right?

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
5 phones you should buy instead of the iPhone 15
A green iPhone 15 on a green bench.

Apple’s iPhone lineup continues to be among its bestselling products. In 2023, we got the iPhone 15, which packs some of Apple’s latest and greatest tech and starts at $800.

The iPhone 15 is one of the easiest iPhone recommendations in 2024. But if you're open to a few other suggestions, there are some great alternatives to consider — including cheaper iPhone options and some really compelling Android phones. Here are five other phones you should consider buying instead of the iPhone 15.
iPhone 14

Read more
Why you should buy the iPhone 15 Pro instead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max
Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro with Chopper and BD-1 droids around it.

Apple releases multiple iPhones every year, offering folks choice in terms of size and features. In 2024, the iPhone 15 lineup includes four distinct models.

The regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are great for those who don’t need a telephoto lens and don’t care about the Action button or the 1TB of storage. But anyone who wants a more “pro” experience has the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Read more
Here’s how Apple could change your iPhone forever
An iPhone 15 Pro Max laying on its back, showing its home screen.

Over the past few months, Apple has released a steady stream of research papers detailing its work with generative AI. So far, Apple has been tight-lipped about what exactly is cooking in its research labs, while rumors circulate that Apple is in talks with Google to license its Gemini AI for iPhones.

But there have been a couple of teasers of what we can expect. In February, an Apple research paper detailed an open-source model called MLLM-Guided Image Editing (MGIE) that is capable of media editing using natural language instructions from users. Now, another research paper on Ferret UI has sent the AI community into a frenzy.

Read more